AceShowbiz - Sam Raimi was told there were "about 18 directors" Sony Pictures would "rather have" than him helming "Spider-Man" - before landing the job.
The 62-year-old filmmaker has revealed how he attended an interview for the job with Sony bosses, during which he spoke for an hour about the comics and then abruptly stopped talking, thanked the executives, and got up to leave because he "didn't want to overstay [his] welcome".
He told Variety, "My agent, Josh Donen, said, 'They want to be honest with you. There's about 18 directors they'd rather have than you on a list.' "
"And I said, 'OK, well, tell them I'm number 19.'"
"I was very aware of how they didn't want me. So I really didn't want to also overstay my welcome."
Marvel Studios chief Avi Arad admitted the film's bosses knew Raimi wasn't in it for the money.
He said, "Sam was unique. Sam didn't come into it for money. Sam was a guy who needed to make it."
Earlier this month, the director admitted he would love to make more "Spider-Man" films with Maguire and Dunst.
He said, "I love Tobey. I love Kirsten Dunst. I think all things are possible.
"I'd love to come back and tell another tale, especially with the great management they've got there."
"I don't know what their thoughts are about that. I haven't really pursued that. But it sounds beautiful."
"Even if it wasn't a Spider-Man movie, I'd love to work with Tobey again, in a different role."